Each week, I do a cartoon or two for Collingwood Football Club wrapping up the weekend’s proceedings. You can see them all on this page right her as well as on the Collingwood website and the Collingwood facebook page. I hope you enjoy my work. Go Pies!
Round 23 (Coll 56 – Haw 121)
On a foggy Melbourne evening Collingwood’s season came to a disappointing yet not unsurprising end. Hawthorn is a classy outfit and although the Pies applied some good first quarter pressure the (very) young men in black and white could not sustain it. Story of what was an injury ravaged season I suppose.
The nicest moment of the night came after the siren when Luke Ball was cheered from the ground. He’s been a pleasure to watch since moving from the Saints but time waits for no man and he was right to call it quits. Congratulations on a great career and here’s hoping Ball’s commitment and drive rubs off on the next wave of Collingwood players. Farewell.
Round 22 (Coll 76 – GWS 67)
If one had said in March that a win over GWS would be up there with the most gratifying of the season most Collingwood fans would’ve scoffed but voila, there you have it. With half of the best 22 out with injury and down to a single rotation the Pies found something deep within and fought back for a gutsy win.
Collingwood probably won’t beat the Hawks next week. We probably won’t play finals. But watching the game last night gave a special kind of enjoyment. The type of pleasure a fan gets during the cut and thrust of a match when the win, THAT particular win is all that matters. Well played to all those in the black and white last night and to one amply-shouldered individual in particular. Great game Josh.
Round 21 (Coll 56 – Bris 123)
Another week another very disappointing result for the Pies. Losing a potent forward on game day is bad. Losing your captain and best player five minutes before the siren is worse. Losing three key players during the match is almost unthinkable but Collingwood fans were forced to think it. And see it. It wasn’t pretty.
With such an unpalatable taste in the mouth I’ve tried to sweeten things up with an homage to another Collingwood legend this week. Enjoy.
Round 20 (Coll 66 – WCE 126)
It looks like it might be all over for the 2014 Pies. Unfortunately Collingwood returned to losing ways against the Eagles and set themselves a mighty hurdle to get into the eight come Finals time.
There were really even any standout performers to focus on from the match so for this week’s illustration I’m harking back to a Pies showman from (fairly recent) yesteryear, Neon Leon Davis. Enjoy.
Round 19 (Coll 76 – Port 70)
Finally the Pies return to winning ways and claw back into the top eight. It was by no means a pretty game to watch but Collingwood fans must surely be pleased with the effort of the players to guts out the four points. At stages it looked like it was slipping away but thanks to some cool heads and fierce pressure we overcame.
Tony Armstrong notched up his first match in the black and white and while Steele, Scott and Jack were good, the shear novelty of the experience for Tony warrants an illustration. Plus you’ve got to love those big bushy eyebrows. Enjoy.
Round 18 (Coll 82 – Adel 98)
Again, it’s simply not worth talking about, or illustrating about, that one. Pies out of the eight and a whole army of disgruntled supporters are born.
Luckily there’s a great history to look back on and this week I’ve focussed on ye of the sunken eyes, Peter McKenna. Enjoy.
Round 17 (Coll 39 – Ess 103)
If you recall, this year’s ANZAC Day match began with an Essendon onslaught. The Pies recovered and ran over the top of them. It was great. Last week’s rematch started similarly but Collingwood never returned fire. In fact, it was a humbling experience and show just how far off their best the team is at the moment. Let’s hope the bye provides some time to sort out what’s what.
In other Pie-related news, Nick Maxwell has called an end to his career. He departs the club as a Premiership winning captain and should be celebrated as such by all of the Black and White persuasion. Thus, this week’s illustration is dedicated to him. Congratulations and farewell.
Round 16 (Coll 75 – GC 80)
If a team has no interchange for almost an entire quarter and loses easily their best player in the third term you typically don’t expect them to win. The Gold Coast Suns obviously decided to be a little different and did indeed stave off the Pies to claim four important points.
Collingwood lost to a team who simply wanted to win more. In the aftermath I’ve taken that theme of simplicity and applied it to a portrait of one magpie who I thought did alright. Love those long luscious eyebrows Steele.
In addition to my normal round up illustration this week I’ve also done another for the Collingwood Forever series – celebrating everyone who’s played for the club. The brief this was a Chris Tarrant specie and here’s the result.
Round 15 (Coll 91 – Carl 76)
As all Pies fans know, the feeling of beating Carlton is rarely bettered. So it was again on a frigid Sunday night in Melbourne that those of the black and white persuasion basked in the warming glow of another victory over the old foe.
While it was particularly pleasing to see Steele Sidebottom back in the side and firing, the odd scheduling made me long for the days before overly creative fixtures – a simpler time. I decided to take this notion as a theme for my illustration and have harked back to just such a time and great from Collingwood history. Hoping to hit on a few of these classic notes again throughout the rest of the year so stay tuned and I hope you enjoy this first example.
Round 14 (Coll 86 – Haw 115)
Facing the reigning premiers is always a difficult obstacle to overcome and unfortunately Collingwood wasn’t able to do so. Whilst within touching distance for much on the match there was a distinct air of Hawthorn control throughout. Undermanned and outgunned the Pies ultimately wilted and the Hawks ran away with the match.
Inspired by my recent reintroduction to Old Master drawings I’ve tapped into the sense of exhaustion and defeat that Pies players must have felt post-game for this week’s illustration. Bring on the Blues and our first opportunity for redemption.
Round 13 (Coll 98 – WB 106)
Well well well. That wasn’t very good. Collingwood were widely expected to dispose of the Bulldogs but the wouldn’t go quietly. The Pies were down for most of the match, almost snatched it with a burst at the end but in all honesty deserved exactly what they got.
The only shining lights were Travis Cloke with six majors and the ever-excellent Scott Pendlebury. It seems high-top boots might be coming back into fashion – albeit not with the traditional black colouration. Too bad Scott’s mates didn’t back him up on this day. Let’s forget about this one, celebrate a Pies champ and move on.
Round 12 (Coll 61 – Melb 28)
Winter has well and truly descended on Melbourne. These are the pivotal rounds of any AFL season and the Pies did enough to overcome the Demons in a less than spectacular encounter. Holding Melbourne to just three goals was a great effort and Tyson Goldsack’s willingness to harass and harangue set the tone for those behind him to follow. I certainly would not enjoy the man chasing me but I’ve envisaged exactly that position for this week’s illustration.
Round 11 (Coll 140 – StK 54)
Under the roof at Etihad Stadium the Pies had a comfortable victory over St Kilda. Without a number of important players it was pleasing to see good performers across the ground.
This weekend celebrate indigenous culture in the AFL and I wanted to give my own nod to this worthy endeavour. A record of all Collingwood’s 21 goals in dot painting style was a fitting way to do it I feel. Hope you enjoy it.
Round 10 (Coll 109 – WCE 101)
Collingwood started promisingly against West Coast under a setting sun at the MCG but were soon trailing. And that’s where we stayed for much of the match. Important backmen going down didn’t help our cause but determined football did. All in all a very pleasing afternoon. I particularly enjoyed the work of little Jarryd Blair, whose firstname spelling and limb-to-torso proportions defy convention. With hustle and bustle – plus a banana or two – he’s earned the right to be the subject of this week’s illustration.
Round 9 (Adel 76 – Coll 55)
Traditionally the home of cricket in the city of churches, this year has seen footy take over at the Adelaide Oval. Collingwood and Adelaide stepped out on Thursday night (thanks AFL for making me almost forget I had work the next day) and while it looked promising early for the Pies they were unable to sustain the effort. Beaten by the better team on the night and not too many highlights but Dayne Beams was electric in the first half and thus worthy of an illustration.
The first of three truncated weekends of footy have arrived and the Pies take a rest. No excuse now for Collingwood fans not to visit their Mums for Mother’s Day. Here are some flowers you might like to pass on if your Mum is of the black and white persuasion.
Round 7 (Coll 104 – Carl 70)
All was in readiness for a classic encounter on Friday night as Dale Thomas stepped out in navy blue against his former team.
Unfortunately a classic it was not – unless you happen to be a Collingwood fan. The Pies dominated for three quarters before easy off in the last. A very youthful defensive unit where excellent and the big Witts threw his 208cm around with guile that belied his tender age. He is an almighty size and that was enough to inspire his depict at my hands.
Round 6 (Coll 83 – Ess 60)
ANZAC day. Bright autumn sunshine. MCG. Collingwood and Essendon. Footy at its best.
Essendon started strong and it was looking bleak for the Pies but a string of goals in the second quarter got us well and truly back in the match. From there Dane Swan emerged as Collingwood’s hero on this day. Some may say he’s a scraggly looking human being however his skill cannot be denied. It was a famous victory for the Pies and one which has to be duly celebrated with a portrait of the ANZAC medal winner.
Round 5 (Coll 93 – NMelb 58)
Collingwood and North took to the G on Easter Saturday and while the Roos got the first of the match it was never really close from there. The Collingwood midfield dominated all day and it was inaccuracy alone that prevented this from becoming a rout. Travis Cloke’s impact waned in the second half but his first was vintage Trav. So much so that simply having ‘Cloke’ on his back did not truly represent the man.
Round 4 (Coll 110 – Rich 72)
Days of near constant rain abated for Collingwood and the Tigers to take the the MCG. The surface was still slick however. Clean hands and clear minds were needed and Jesse White had both for the Pies. The ex-Sydney man was strong in the contest and kicked three key goals. Twas a performance worthy of an illustration and thus…
Round 3 (Geel 87 – Coll 76)
It was a dogged fight between magpies and cats under lights at the G. Jamie Elliott almost singlehandedly secured a victory but not quite. Instead he had to settle for five clinical goals and a worthy contender for mark of the year.
Round 2 (Coll 89 – Syd 69)
Nick Maxwell celebrated 200 games in the black and white on Saturday as part of a tremendous victory. Personally I’ve always felt that Nick Maxwell resembles the evil neighbour from Toy Story but that’s rather immaterial. The important thing is that his contribution to the club be acknowledged. Congrats and here’s hoping for more double-fisted spoils to come.
The AFL in their infinite wisdom decided it would be a great idea to spread Round 1 over two weekends. Seeing the Pies are off this weekend I thought it was time to look forward with optimism and hope that the players are gearing up for a better performance in Sydney.
Round 1 (Freo 116 – Coll 46)
Not a great start at all. Only silver lining was the performance of first-gamer Tom Langdon off half-back. Thus, he was the subject of this week’s illustration.
Another Collingwood season comes to an end. We went into Saturday night’s match anticipating a victory but came away with nothing but a lesson. Simply, we must improve our ball use. Too many times this year good play has been undone with sloppy disposal and in the end it cost us.
Port are undoubtedly an improved outfit from last year but our talent warranted better. In truth, season 2013 has been one of fits and starts. Patches good form followed by confusingly abysmal defeats made it difficult to discern what we truly are. Let’s hope that the off-season is used well and that we bring a greater consistency to 2014.
It was the game that almost didn’t exist. Collingwood and North Melbourne made their way onto the MCG Sunday afternoon for what became a training park frolic. Zero tackling pressure, zero desire to win the hard ball and complete focus on remaining injury free. The Kangaroos had a minuscule reason to try – pride – and so they eventually came out on top.
Directly after the match it looked like team selection for next weekend’s elimination final had been thrown into turmoil with injuries to Lynch, Brown and Reid. The good news is that they all look like they’ll come up. The bad news is that Nathan Buckley and the match committee have an almighty task on their hands to sqeeze a nearly full list into a starting 22. Good luck fellas.
Sometimes you can just tell after five minutes what the end result will be. Friday night was one such occasion as Collingwood stormed out of the blocks, blew a hapless West Coast away and had the game well and truly won my quarter time. Some of the youngest Magpies in the tiding/gulp/tittering/charm (yes I did look up the collective noun) were outstanding but the evening was capped by the return of a favourite son. Dids buzzed busily for a half and was promptly swamped as he slotted a deserved major.
Didak’s good form means selection dilemmas on the horizon for Collingwood’s match committee and we all have another big decision to make. Fair to say that at the moment, Didak is the only one you can really have any level of trust in.
The Pies have been mighty impressive in the last two weeks. Fierce tackling and an elevated intensity for the contest brought two fine wins chalked up. Friday night was not an entirely different kettle of fish. Up against a very tough opponent in blustery conditions we were far from terrible. Hawthorn had some elite personnel return and their midfield workhorses were on fire. Collingwood’s fab four stood up as always but it was our disposal going forward to proved the issue. Too many times the service was below par and many moments of promise were thwarted by poor execution.
This lack of polish was the inspiration for this week’s cartoon. Everything was just a bit skew-if and made for a bad night out. Top four is now as gone as a pie wrapper caught in the wind and Collingwood must attempt the impossible – win a flag from outside that cosy corner. It’s not out of the question but we must rediscover some slickness to have any shot.
Coming off a comprehensive victory over the old enemy – one of them at least – the Pies travelled to Sydney for another formidable assignment. Things weren’t looking good half way through the first as it seemed Sydney might run away with it. However through hard, diligent work Collingwood kicked a couple and got back in the contest. From there, our gut running and manic pressure ensured we chalked up a second good win on the trot.
It goes without saying now that Pendles, Swanny and Beams were immense. It’s very pleasing though to say that third-gamer Brody Grundy dominated his opponents. The young man has come in and made a real impact in the absence of Jolly. He covers the ground superbly and with his samurai hair-do, will surely become a fan favourite. Well played Brody.
Another twilight fixture for the Pies brought perhaps our best performance of the season thus far. It was obvious within the first five minutes that Collingwood had come to play and Essondon were way off the boil. The Dons could be forgiven for wandering minds due Friday’s interim ASADA report but they were nevertheless comprehensively outplayed throughout the cold rainy evening by Collingwood.
Alas rain struck again early Tuesday morning and this time thwarted a good result. The Australian cricketers were surely on their way to an equally dominant victory at the Pies but were denied by the elements. As Ben Cousin’s stomach tattoo would attest, such is life. Let’s all hope the heavens open again on Saturday night at ANZ stadium and that the black and white army can celebrate another virtuoso performance from the team.
Twilight is an odd footballing juncture. The lights are on at the G but their effect is not yet sufficient to turn the turf that magical shade of green. It’s afternoon but not 2pm. It’s night time but not 7.30pm. All in all it’s just a bit weird and unfortunately the attitude of the Collingwood boys was equally weird on Saturday.
The Giants will be a powerful opponent in years to come however for now they remain a relative minnow. That did not prevent them from out gunning the Pies for three quarters. We were sloppy in possession and lacking any great verve. Jeremy Cameron on the other hand was up for the fight. It was Collingwood vs Cameron for a large portion of the match before eventually, the Magpies kicked away.
This was far from a vintage performance by the men in black and white and we were fortunate that the opposition were not one of the competition elites. Those elites are fast approaching though and we must really switch on to make anything of season 2013.
Collingwood journeyed to the typically relaxing Gold Coast and took the holiday vibe too far. The Suns are a much improved outfit this season and the PIes unfortunately became their biggest scalp to date. While it was close throughout, Gold Coast somehow built an impenetrable wall at Collingwood’s half forward. And with Gary Ablett playing a sublime match the Pies were never able to edge in front.
It will be a confronting review at the Westpac Centre this week. Hopefully the PIes can learn to never underestimate an opponent and return to ruthless form next week against the Giants.
Another Friday night at the G and it was deja vu all over again. The Pies went behind early before an opposition star went down injured and Ben Reid pushed forward. And as with the Carlton match last week, Collingwood eased away to a nice victory.
There were milestones a plenty with Beamsy back for his first match of the season, Luke Ball playing his 200th and Sidebottom notching a century. But the highlight of the night was the performance of Scott Pendlebury. The man is simply a magician in the midfield. A Pendlebury handpass is truly more of a directive – inviting other players into space.
He was far and away the best afield and if he continues to rack up 42, might be in line for an Agar-esque Ashes birth.
Friday night. Massive stage. Bright lights. Internal controversy swirling. Just another week in the life of the Pies. Pre-match scuttlebutt was all about Harry O’s unscheduled Port Douglas sojourn but the 22 who ran out to take on the Blues were intently focused – after the first 20 minutes that is.
After a slow start Collingwood began to make some in roads into the contest. Waite limped off for Carlton and thus Ben Reid was free to be unleashed up forward. He marked strongly, kicked truly and made for a devilish double act alongside Travis Cloke. Cartlon seemed to stall and the mighty Pies kicked away from dominant passages in the second and third terms.
My highlight of the night – apart from smashing the Blues of course – was the miracle snap from Sammy Dwyer. It’s an amazing part of AFL that the phrase, ‘he kicked a magical inside-out banana from the fence’ is logical but in this case it certainly was. The impossible angle was summed to perfection and recalled memories of a slightly more mulleted Collingwood goal sneak from years gone by.
The Pies travelled to the city of mullets this week to take on a resurgent Power outfit. Port Adelaide were coming off a stunning victory against the reigning premiers and once again showed their might. They outplayed the Pies. More desperate and harder at the ball.
So Collingwood minds now turn to the arch nemesis and Friday night. We all know the Malthouse story and the master/apprentice dimension these clashes now bring with them. The Pies took the chocolates earlier this season and those of the black and white persuasion are hoping to see a similar level of verve this time around. There’s not much better than beating Carlton after all.
In the depths of a Collingwood-less weekend of footy pies fans may well go to extraordinary lengths to recreate the magic of watching the magpies.
On the day Melbourne fans are mourning – or celebrating – the departure of coach Mark Neeld, the man’s former employers are savouring another win. It was a young Pies outfit that took to Etihad Stadium against an equally green Western Bulldogs litter but it was Collingwood senior players that stole the show.
Despite weeks of media scuttlebutt surrounding the supposed internal troubles at Pie land the boys came out firing. A truly tremendous first half saw us almost ten goals to the good and displaying the manic intensity glimpsed only against Geelong this season.
Unfortunately the lustre wore off after the main break and a potential percentage booster became a mere cruisy victory. The half effort was the catalyst behind this week’s cartoon but we should all remember that a win is a win and four points should always be celebrated.
We now say hello to a bye and can look forward to recharging the batteries, regaining some more experienced players (showing stellar form in the VFL) and pushing on towards the finals. Go Pies!
Twas nap time for the first quarter and then the mighty Pies awoke. We went bang bang bang for two quarters and thoroughly dispatched the hapless Demons.
The most pleasing part of the afternoon (apart from it being a holiday) was the play of the Collingwood youngsters. Martin, Oxley, Seedsman, Williams, Kennedy, Thomas (of the non-Daisy variety). The names just go on and on. It’s fantastic to see that with a plethora of long-term injuries that there’s a fresh batch of youth coming through.
Another young outfit await next Sunday in the Bulldogs but with some verve and dash we’ll surely motor on.
Up, down, up, down, and up again. That seems to be the way of it at the moment for the Pies. Another Friday night this time up in steamy Brisbane and it took but seconds to realise Collingwood had come to play. They were supreme in the opening 15 minutes and had the hapless Lions dead to rights by quarter time.
Some may well say the game petered out from that point, however for Pies fans coming off a truly terrible week it was a sweet reprieve. We were never troubled and cruised to victory. I’m sure real lions are ferocious man-eaters but Friday’s lions were anything but. They might even make a nice pet.
A clean, crisp Friday night at the G. Collingwood and Sydney fans alike flocked to the ground anticipating a hard fought opener to Indigenous Round. Unfortunately for those of the black and white ilk that was not what transpired.
A disappointing night in many respects and one from which a lot of people need to take lessons. We need to lift the intensity next week up north and thus the inspiration for this week’s cartoon.
A slew of injuries, lacklustre performance last week and a rampant opposition. Doesn’t sound like an overly appetising combo but it certainly seemed to suit the Pies tastes on Saturday night.
Tackling pressure and all-round ferocity won us a premiership in 2010 and it was on display again against the Cats. We harassed, chased and generally busted a gut all night and came away with a deserved victory.
Great to see some of the new recruits (Sammy Dwyer and Josh Thomas) making an impact on the big stage and twas equally pleasing to see a renaissance performance from Andrew Krakouer. The man is a joy to watch, with creativity, flair and slick skills simply oozing from his pores.
But the highest cudos this week is reserved for Harry O. He’s been rejuvenated on a wing this season and this week was perhaps his finest outing so far. Geelong cats and cats in generally should be wary of the dreadlocked one, his dash and his appetite for the contest. Bring on the Swans!
Saturday night saw the Pies venture west to take on the Dockers. Unfortunately the game resembled a blueberry tart made using questionable blueberries. One quarter was absolutely awesome but the other three were downright nasty.
After giving up an early lead Collingwood were able to briefly show our best in the third term. Alas, the momentum didn’t last and we were again overrun.
Could be a tough day for those of you out there with Pies supporting mothers – all of whom would be feeling decidedly morose despite this being their special day. So perhaps take this cartoon as a cautionary note and think carefully at the florist ye gift givers.
By all accounts Friday night’s clash between the Saints and Pies was a less than stellar spectacle. Always good to get back in the winners circle though and some excellent performances from some Collingwood stars should never go unappreciated.
Thus this week’s cartoon focussed on the deities that are Pendles and Daisy. Fleet of foot and eternally classy, these two young men just continue to shine. After Thomas’ interrupted pre-season it’s fantastic to see him out there. With the injury last week to The Possum – aka Alan Toovey – Dale was deployed off a half back in what may be a sign from God (in this case Bucks) of things to come. We head west next weekend for what will surely be a tough encounter. But stay faithful and virtuous all you Collingwood fans and we’ll nab a win.
Not much to be said about a tough ANZAC Day loss the the arch nemesis. Especially sad to see a trusty Pie go down with a season ending ACL tear.
Thoughts go out to Alan Toovey – aka Possum Eyes – from the entire Magpie Army. Good luck with the rehab and we’re all looking forward to seeing you dash out of the defensive 50 come round 1 2014.
Bring on those Saints next week and Collingwood’s chance at redemption. Go Pies always.
Back in the winners circle and happy to be there. Dane Swan shone is his 200th but it was the beast up forward who really stole the black and white show.
From our vantage point high up in Southern Stand it was truly a thing to behold. The ball launched long from the foot of a Steele, a Pendles, a Blairy…our eyes switched instantly to Trav and whichever poor soul was unlucky enough to be by his side. Then, with a deft swing of the hips or a commanding shove the big man was free to gobble up another. No one could tame a player in such form and thus, this weeks cartoon was born.
Thursday is not far off but with reverence for the occasion and ample skill, I’m sure the Pies will make us all proud.
Round 3 (Haw 145 – Coll 90)
Alas our winning start to the season has come to an end. Against a rampant flock of Hawks the Pies were harassed and harangued and ultimately defeated.
Pendles and Swanny were immense as always in the middle and it was great to see Cloke and Elliott each post sizeable goal tallies. However I’ve taken inspiration this week from a new Pie – Ben Hudson. Now at his fourth club, and after initially being brought in an a coach, Huddo showed on Sunday he’s still got it. Filling in manfully for Jolly in the ruck the big guy even showed some rover-like skills with a snap and a quick handball or two. Maybe more facial hair is the answer when we come up against an up-and-about Tigers outfit on Saturday.
Round 2 (Coll 117 – Carl 100)
It’s Monday morning and I’m still exhausted after another epic Collingwood Carlton clash. And if I’m exhausted, just imagine how Quinten Lynch is feeling! After Jolly went down early the big Q was asked to stand up and stand up he did…manfully.
Along with some steely contributions from Steel, Blairy and Elliott our mighty Pies cam away with an impressive (and hugely satisfying) win over the old foe. Bring on another next weekend!
Round 1 (Coll 103 – NMFC 87):
Ola footy fans!
The long, long opening round is finally in the books and our mighty pies have got off to a flying (hopping?) start.
A great test of our depth and a ripping showcase for some new faces to shine.
Bring on those Blues!
Preliminary Final (Coll 70 – Syd 96):
And so it’s all over for another year. Time for Collingwood fans everywhere to recharge the batteries and get pumped for 2013.
That’s the wonderful thing about footy – there’s always next year.
Semi Final (Coll 73 – WCE 60):
Let’s stay calm my Collingwood brethren. Two more weeks of focus and manic intensity await. A Premiership is the reward. Eyes on the prize.
First Qualifying Final (Coll 97 – Haw 135):
Friday night saw the first match of an eagerly anticipated AFL finals series. It was a chilli evening but the contest between the Hawks and the Pies was hot from the outset.
Finals football is a different game. It’s as simple as that. There’s a scent and an atmosphere that pervades September football that is just non-existent during the regular season. Unfortunately for the mighty Pies, Hawthorn were too good on the night. Collingwood were down by a pesky 3-5 goal margin for a lot of the game but suffered greatly in some decisive moments. Right before half-time and three-quarter-time the Hawks snagged a few quick ones and kept any possible Collingwood charge at bay.
The highlight for the Pies was the continued stellar performance of Andrew Krakouer and the beast, Travis Cloke. The pair combined for 10 goals and it’s great to see both contributing so manfully to the team.
At the time of writing our next foe is still a mystery. All that is known is that Collingwood must now take the more challenging and dangerous route of semi and preliminary finals to reach the Grand Final summit. With an increasingly potent forward group and a nest full of potential match winners in the midfield, Pies supporters everywhere should be gearing up for a long September ahead.
Round 23 (Coll 104 – Ess 72):
Spring has finally sprung, the fans of eight lucky teams are rejoicing and Melbourne is again about to come down with a severe case of finals fever. There’s nothing better than football in September and the mighty Pies are rolling into next weekend’s Hawthorn match on the back of an encouraging win.
It was fantastic to see Darren Jolly and Andrew Krakouer return to the side but Collingwood minds were quickly – and happily – distracted by events up forward. Ladies and gentlemen, it may be premature but I think Travis Cloke is back. After a tumultuous season full of scuttlebutt regarding contract negotiations it seems Big Trav may be emerging as a major player in September. Essondon had no answer for his physicality early on and it looked like he’d kick ten. In the end a lazy five goals and a bag of strong contested marks satisfied the man, not to mention every Collingwood fan.
If we can get the balance of powerful forward targets, silky midfield disposal and stingy running defence just right then there’s no reason we can’t make a deep finals run. The first obstacle is Mt. Hawthorn after a season of two failed assents. Let’s hope an underdog tag and some magical performances from some key Pies can get us to the summit and onto the further powering peaks beyond.
Round 22 (Coll 58 – WCE 107):
For two proud and storied clubs the less said about Saturday night the better. Collingwood and Carlton both suffered dispiriting defeats and will surely be eagerly awaiting a chance at atonement next weekend.
The Pies flew west to take on a feisty Eagles team at their fortress-like home ground. The folks in WA are passionate about their footy and their team had too much for Collingwood on this night. We were always going to struggle without Jolly’s hulking presence against the competition’s two best ruckmen and the clearance numbers reflected West Coast’s dominance. NicNat and Cox monstered all comers and proceeded to deliver the footy to their midfielders with the efficiency and accuracy of the finest of postmen.
Let’s just hope that Jolly returns next week to tackle to Dons and that Andy Krakouer managed to sneak back into the side. It’s been a long cold winter of recuperation for Collingwood’s dangerous forward threat and his class can surely only help our stuttering offense.
Bring on Essondon and bring on the tough finals series beyond. With a few additions the Pies faithful can look forward to an intriguing and hopefully extended September run.
Round 21 (NMFC 91 – Coll 61):
After 10 minutes of the first quarter on Saturday night Collingwood fans were relaxed, reclined ready to watch another commanding victory. Then everything changed.
All of a sudden our disposal became sloppy, players dropped easy marks and the Roos came hopping back into the game. Being in the stands meant I got a disturbingly vivid view of the general lack of run in the Collingwood legs and I didn’t like it one little bit. Last week was a fairly epic encounter and obviously took a toll on our boys.
The rest of the game unfolded limply from a Pies perspective and every time we looked like making a bit of a run something calamitous occurred. Dayne Beams racked up the possessions again but the rest of the team looks decidedly off the boil.
It’s going to be a big ask to overcome the Eagles in Perth next week but hopefully the return of our other tattooed hero will rev us up and get another important win on the road.
Round 20 (Coll 78 – StK 70):
It was wild and wooly in Sydney on Saturday night. Like the flags atop ANZ stadium, momentum swung back and forth throughout the match. There were periods where both the Collingwood and Sydney were pinned down, unable to draw breath under stifling tackling and all around forward pressure. Fortunately for the Pies, both Chris Dawes and Travis Cloke were able to provide marking options at various stages, relieve some pressure and capitalise on the good work of backmen like Harry O and Ben Reid. The latter collecting a bundle of ill-directed balls from harried Swans.
Due to a booze-filled evening and subsequent club imposed suspension, the Pies were without our own waddling Swan in the midfield and after Daisy was subbed out early there was a chance Josh Kennedy and Co. would put us to the sword. Kennedy did indeed rack up Dane Swan-esque possessions but thankfully his red and white buddies couldn’t overcome Collingwood’s powerful midfield unit. Sharrod Wellingham and his swishy hairdo piled on the pressure, Pendles was his typical silky self and Dayne Beams was a star. He’s truly made the most of his opportunity this season and moulded himself into a legitimate stud. The Pies have won 10 straight against Sydney, seem to relish playing on the road and can put a lot of their most recent success down to the work Beams.
It’s back home next weekend for another important hit out against an in form North Melbourne side. With only three weeks to go until finals there are encouraging signs everywhere down at Pie land 🙂
Round 19 (Coll 91 – StK 85):
The London 2012 Olympics are upon us and while it’s nice to see under-appreciated sportspeople have their moments in the sun it’s equally nice that footy, that ever reliable excitement machine, still delivers.
This weekend brought us innumerable nearly moments from London as well as a couple of crackerjack games of footy. Saturday night saw the mighty Pies take on the typically Etihad-bound Saints on the hallowed MCG turf and a seesawing battle ensued. Our valiant Olympians have been having a torrid time of it so far and the glory of gold has been hard to come by.
Collingwood suffered through equally arduous moments on Saturday night – the third quarter being a case in point – but in the end they outlasted their adversary and claimed an important win. Maybe just maybe if James Magnussen and his Dunlop Volley clad friends had been wearing the mighty black and white instead of the usual green and gold they too would have celebrated like the Magpie faithful.
Round 18 (Coll 174 – GWS 54):
This week the mighty Pies travelled north to take on the competition new boys. The Giants are a strange strange organisation. They inhabit NRL heartland, possess minimal crowds and yet, their wiry little players show flashes of brilliance that suggest they will soon be a force to be reckoned with. For now however, they are not that force.
Each quarter Saturday’s game followed a predictable script: the Giants compete manfully for half the quarter, tire and wilt. Collingwood made the most of their young opposition’s fatigue and kicked away in the end for a commanding, comfortable one hundred and twenty point win. Again Dane Swan did it all and surely banked another three Brownlow votes. It may look as though he doesn’t give two hoots about footy but his output is phenomenal.
Perhaps the most pleasing element of the weekend’s result was the play of Collingwood’s own giant, Travis Cloke. After a tumultuous period of contract controversy Trav manhandled poor Phil Davis and bagged six sausages. It was great to see him peel that contractual monkey from his back and dominate an opponent like we all know he can. Pies supporters everywhere will be hoping the boys pop back down south and keep up the winning momentum against the Saints
Round 17 (Coll 91 – Haw 138):
Saturday was a lovely day for football. The sun was shining and a hefty crowd packed the MCG. Unfortunately the game itself definitely left something to be desired from a Collingwood supporter’s perspective. The Pies were still in the game at half time but the major break but from then on things got ugly.
Like strawberry jam and warm butter, Hawthorn spread magnificently. One moment there’s a rolling mass of humanity at a stoppage and the next thing you know one of the brown and gold snipers is darting away, delivering a bullet-like pass. Collingwood suffered the full wrath of the Hawks superior skills and simply weren’t able to respond.
It’s incredibly frustrating to watch your team lose but the performance of the Pies’ tattooed duo of Dayne Beams and Dane Swan did lift my spirits somewhat. In the midfield and up forward the two of them performed manfully all afternoon as the rest of the team was successfully shut down. Perhaps there’s some magical power residing in all those tattoos – and perhaps some other Collingwood people should consider getting some work done themselves to get in on the act. It would certainly be nice to get back on that winning trail again with finals just around the corner.
Round 16 (Coll 110 – Geel 79):
It was a dark and stormy night at the MCG on Saturday. Collingwood were coming off our second loss of the season to Carlton and it appeared right from the outset that the Pies were keen to atone. Eight goals in the first quarter isn’t a bad way to start any game of footy and we maintained a comfortable buffer the rest of the night.
The brisk conditions may have guided Daisy’s decision to go for a long-sleeved jumper but really, should we be surprised? When a guy has that many tricks it’s probably best he has somewhere to keep them.
The match also saw some inspired coaching moves from Bucks. I’m not sure if he came up with this one in the bathroom mirror but the placement of defenders Chris Tarrant and Tyson Goldsack up forward worked a treat. They supported the twin towers of Dawes and Cloke manfully while also piling on the defensive pressure. The Geelong defenders were harassed and harangued and ultimately forced to cough the ball up to our midfield maestros. Scott Pendlebury brushed off the minute inconvenience of a broken leg to immediately return to his silky best. Swan racked ’em up again and Beams provided the tattoo-laden support.
I could go on and on waxing lyrical about the excellent performances put in all over the ground from the Pies but perhaps this week’s cartoon sums it up best.
Round 15 (Coll 62 – Carl 85):
Deep down we all knew this was coming. Collingwood fans have been euphorically chalking up win after glorious win for 10 weeks but now must find a new pursuit. Friday night saw our Pies up against the old enemy for the second time this season and for a second time we were humbled.
Carlton’s zippy little buzzards and bald, Voldermort-esque superstar were too much for the boys in black and white. Watching your footy team lose on Friday night is certainly not the ideal way to start the weekend and I’m sure all things blue will be anathema for some time to come.
However, fear not fellow Collingwood fans. Hold firm. Remember that there’s still a long way yet to travel on the arduous voyage that is the 2012 AFL season. We must consult our footy charts, trust in Captain Buckley and strive on.
Another big match awaits just over the horizon and I’m certain the Pies will be ready to right the wrongs of last September against the Cats. Ahoy there maties, Grand Final rematch off the starboard bow!
Round 14 (Coll 107 – Freo 78):
It’s cold and wet this Melbourne winter but that hasn’t deterred our mighty Pies from their winning ways. Perhaps the frosty mornings and chilling winds have been just what we needed.
Saturday saw the other west coast team fly east to do battle with Collingwood but a fast start from the Black and White made sure of victory. Our forward pressure was immense and stifled any attacking flair or creativity that Freo had hoped to show. It seemed that Jamie Elliott was perennially mauling some poor Docker defender and Dane Swan was constantly poised to rack up yet another touch. It’s been fantastic to see a great mix of youthful enthusiasm and senior class over the past few months.
Yet another player was given his first game and Caolan Mooney – the dashing young Irishmen in question – showed the kind of pace and excitement that all fans love to see. The lad’s only played 13 AFL games…in his whole life! With time to watch and learn from the likes of Pendles and Swanny, his future looks bright. Credit must surely go to Derek Hine and the recruitment and development staff at Pie-land. It feels like every week a new bright spark is unleashed and this group must take all the plaudits.
Let’s hope this ten game win streak becomes 11 on Friday night and we can right the wrongs of the last game against the Blues. GO PIES!
Round 13 (Coll 85 – WCE 82):
After a week up in the sunny climes of Port Douglas Collingwood came to the ‘G on Saturday evening for a mouth-watering clash with the Eagles. Both sides have had impressive years so far and the game was billed as a bit of a finals preview. It did not disappoint. The Pies were again without the services of one Scott Pendlebury in the midfield but as is becoming routine, the two Da(y)nes stepped into the breach. Despite being forced to contend with two man-mountains at every stoppage, the midfield unit – and in particular the tattooed twins – was superb.
Travis Cloke was his usual dominant self up forward and help himself to a five goals. Perhaps even more pleasing that Trav’s contribution was the emergence of yet another young star. Jamie Elliott is a spiky haired kid who took to the big stage like a duck to water. It was great to see him embrace the pressure of a tense match and clunk some serious contested marks in the last quarter.
Good to notch up our ninth win on the trot and we can now look forward to beating down that other Perth team next weekend. Go Pies!
Round 11 (Coll 129 – Melb 87):
Well well well, another typical weekend for the 2012 PIes. Not only did we add to our worryingly large injury list but more young players stood up and we came away with the win.
It’s certainly not nice to see a proven premiership star limp off after less than a minute in the opening quarter but Collingwood hearts were warmed from that point on by some stellar play from the kids and the midfield maestro, Dane Swan. Injury forced Scott Pendlebury into the stands but Swanny decided he didn’t mind taking over the mantle of dominator-in-chief.
A public holiday is great but watching your team win ON a public holiday is even better. I imagine the Queen herself, and a few Collingwood-fancying corgis, also took the chance to check out the match and I’m sure they weren’t displeased. Maybe if we go on to win the flag then Buck’s might need to make a trip to Britain for knighthood. Sir Bucks does have a certain ring to it don’t you think?
The Magpies have now flown north for the bye-week and hopefully they’ll get a chance to rest up, heal some battered bodies and continue on their winning way when the Eagles come to town 🙂
Round 10 (Coll 149 – GCS 52):
In a truly unpredictable round of footy it was good to see that Collingwood and The Suns stuck to the script. Last year’s grand finalists comprehensively demolished one of the AFL’s fledgling babies – despite the admittedly heroic possession-gathering feats of one G.Ablett.
I think I can speak for all Pies fans when I say my heart skipped a beat at the sight of Scotty Pendlebury, flanked by two decidedly dour-looking trainers, limping from the field. Thankfully the only problem was a ‘minor’ leg break and the silky one will only miss one game.
The rest of the boys put in a comprehensive, professional performance and out-classed their opponents all over the ground. Trav might not have indulged in 13 goals but it was great to see that we didn’t let up all afternoon.
I just couldn’t resist a sun-based gag for this week’s cartoon given the opposition and the flow of the game. Enjoy 🙂
Round 9 (Coll 75 – Adel 49):
Another week, another win for the mighty Pies. Collingwood jetted off to face the resurgent Crows on Saturday night for what was billed as a stern test for both teams.
It was tough in the clinches throughout and clear air was nearly impossible to find. Pendlebury was all class but he had ample support from the likes of Daisy Thomas, Steele Sidebottom and Dayne Beams. One would surely have been forgiven for mistaking Beams for Dane Swan, what with his preponderance of tattoos and his possession gathering panache.
Collingwood’s 2012 campaign has been dogged by injuries but Beams is showing he’s more than capable of rising to the challenge and providing an ample serve of midfield grunt. I’m sure Bucks is proud as punch.
If coaches, analysts and players are to be believed, it seems ‘structures’ are now more important that ever in the AFL. They’re always to blame when things go awry and players are praised for sticking diligently to them when a win is notched. The Collingwood coaching crew must be thanking their lucky stars that with knee injuries ending seasons left right and centre, players like Beams are standing resolute to prop up our six game winning streak.
Round 8 (Coll 96 – Geel 84):
Friday night saw a rematch of last season’s grand finalists and a stirring victory by the Pies. Collingwood were down to one fit man for the majority of the last quarter but hung on in the end. It may have been Dreamtime at the ‘G on Saturday night but surely there were more than a few Collingwood nightmares soothed the evening before.
Steele Sidebottom zipped around the wings, racking up another career-high possession tally and Scott Pendlebury simply oozed class all night. Time appears to slow to Matrix-like levels when Pendles has the ball. A little jink, a head fake and away he goes. Luckily for Pies fans he even had a bit left in the tank to slam home a late goal and truly ‘ice’ the game.
Next week it’s a tough road trip to play the seemingly invincible Adelaide in the city of churches. Let’s hope that with a little prayer from the fans and a quality effort from the boys on the field the mighty Pies can chalk up another big win.
Round 7 (Coll 116 – Bris 58):
This weekend our might Pies swapped bitterly cold Melbourne for the warmer climes of Brisbane and came away with a convincing win. A dominant first quarter performance took the game away from the Lions. Swan, as always, ran riot but Steele Sidebottom’s performance was surely the most pleasing thing for Collingwood folk to see. A spate of long-term injuries and a series of niggles have tested our midfield depth but on Saturday night Sidebottom filled the breach manfully. His career high 35 possessions were a massive factor in the victory and truly showed his growth as a footballer. He richly deserves the title bestowed upon him below.
I would be remiss not to mention Mother’s Day and I can just imagine some of the conversations in Collingwood-loving households across the land. Happy Mother’s Day indeed to all the Magpie Mums out there! Here’s hoping you enjoyed a nice family meal and can now look forward to the Grand Final rematch on Friday night. A bit of revenge is in order I think and hopefully a few classy inclusions to the side can help deliver another sweet reward. Go Pies!
Round 6 (Coll 98 – WB 77):
The weekend’s matches saw some surprisingly intriguing battles and a fair of serious injuries to boot. Fortunately for our Pies we were able to come away from our Friday night clash with the Bulldogs with a gritty 21-point win.
Heath Shaw and Ben Reid were both welcome inclusions to the side and all magpies’ hearts were warmed by the stellar midfield play of Dayne Beams and Steele Sidebottom. Luke Ball’s season-ending knee injury saw him snuggled up next to Dennis Cometti in the commentary box and not under the packs where he ought to be. Beams in particular took up the slack superbly and was instrumental in the win – seems like tatts and sleek football skills go together down at Collingwood.
It was certainly not a comfortable win but a good result nonetheless. I just hope there weren’t to many surly dogs out there on Saturday morning making life tough for their Collingwood supporting owners. Could be some frosty walks taken this week in an increasingly frosty Melbourne. Let’s hope our winning form continues up the warmer climes of Brisbane and that the boys can keep this nice little run rolling along.
Round 5 (Weekend):
Twas a strange weekend indeed for us Collingwood fans. Sure, football was being played, but somehow it just felt…different. What could possibly be the cause of this ill-feeling? Of course, that’s it! Collingwood wasn’t playing.
After the intensity of Wednesday’s classic match we were left watching games where the best outcome was another correct tip or an obscene amount of Dreamteam/Supercoach points. Thus, when I came to thinking about the weekend that was in the world of the mighty Pies I was lost. I didn’t know what to think and this cartoon is the result. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Round 5 (ANZAC Day Coll 80 – Ess 79):
On a cold and rainy Wednesday our mighty Pies and the Bombers slugged out another classic ANZAC Day heart stopper. Collingwood lead for most of the afternoon but Essondon wouldn’t lie down. They hit the front, our boys came back and Dane Swan finished off his ANZAC Day medal winning performance with a key mark in the dying seconds. Swanny was on fire all day and put those pesky weight watching doubters in their place with a magnificent all-round game. Mountains of possessions, clearances, goals. Essentially doing it all and driving the Pies to an important victory.
Round 4 (Coll 97 – Port 73):
It was a great win on the weekend, one that surely warmed the hearts of all Pies supporters. Harry O galloped unhindered from the back 50, Swanny was back to his best, Pendles was silky and Trav proved a dominant force up front. In fact, all the boys showed the kind of ferocious intensity and desire to win the tough ball that makes fans smile. Now the focus shifts to recovery and David Buttifant and his band of merry physios must swing into action to get us up for Wednesday. We know that the science of recovery in AFL clubs is getting more and more precise. Things like training loads, diet and even sleep are all forensically monitored and optimised. Let’s just hope the players get the right amount of ice baths to be fit and raring to go on ANZAC Day.
Our mighty Pies got off to a flying start against Port Adelaide on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Melbourne. A big first quarter set us up for the rest of the match and it was driven in large part by Harry O’s dashing run from the backline. For reasons unknown to everyone except Mathew Primus and the Port coaching staff, Harry was allowed to roam free for large portions of the game. He revelled in this ‘lone ranger’ role, repeatedly gathered the Sherrin, burst free and fed it to big Trav, our resident beast up front. The man is a contested marking machine and seemingly gobbled up everything sent his way by a galloping Harry O and friends. Time now to get into those ice baths ready to saddle up for another big win come ANZAC Day. Go Pies!